Superbowl Breakdown by THE CAUZ! Part 2 - Hard Core Strategy
Part 2 of the "The Knowledge', this time The Cauz looks at the Defense.
Written by Matt Cauz
Defensive Line: We could almost skip this position all together. The Steelers down lineman are just there to occupy blockers so that James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons and James Farrior can wreck havoc. Unless we start giving out points for best/scariest beards I would avoid Brett "Next Unabomer" Keisel and the rest of the Steelers line. As for Green Bay I am a big Cullen Jenkins fan. He is a streaky sack guy. Started the season with four sacks in four games and at this point no one trusts the Steelers offensive line. I rather have an expired, gas station vending machine condom protect me than what the Steelers got right now. Avoid B.J. Raji. Yes we love the guy, who doesn't love the fat guy? George Wendt is still beloved but when was the last time you saw him in anything? Everyone is going to think that with Pouncy out Raji will have a monster day. Yes he will have a "monster" day, just not a great one statistically. There's a reason big fat lazy Albert Haynesworth didn't want to play the nose in a 3-4 in Washington, you don't put up any stats! (Plus on just about every play you're getting abused by 650 pounds of lineman). In three playoff games Raji has just five tackles. He will be a key piece for Green Bay to win but he won't do much to help you win.
Instead of the Love, Avoid, Sleeper gimmick for the linebackers I'm going to down shift into the easiest gimmick and every writers favourite crutch, The List! Here are my Top Five guys for each level of defence.
Linebackers: (1) James Harrison: We all remember his interception return touchdown the last time he was in the Super Bowl. Well this time he will spend a great deal of the game lined up against rookie right tackle Bryan Bulaga. This is about as safe a pick as you can get. (2) Clay Matthew: Has the speed and strength to do what the authorities couldn't do, take Roethlisberger down! (Come on, give me a B- for that one!). Other guys may get more tackles but his ability to make big plays gives him the edge over the other Packer LB's (3) Lawrence Timmons: The leading playoff tackler from any team not named the Jets and finished the regular season with 135. (4) Desmond Biship:Not a name guy like Hawk and Matthews but quietly puts up numbers that are every bit as good. Led the team in tackles in the NFC Championship Game. (5) LaMarr Woodley: This position is so stacked I didn't even have room for AJ Hawk, his 122 regular & post season tackles, and his massive, massive forehead. That means I can't make my AJ Hawk looks like Phil Hartman playing Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer line. "Sometimes when I get messages on my fax machine, I wonder 'did little demons get inside and type these'? I don't know. My primitive mind just can't grasp these concepts." Oh yeah Woodley. Yes his tackle numbers won't blow you away but I always want a couple potential 2-3 sack guys on my roster.
Secondary: (1) Nick Collins: Great pick if it is a close game throughout. Considering the spread is hovering around three it should be. (2) Charles Woodson: Only reason he isn't number one is you don't get points for penalties. (3) Ike Taylor: Green Bay's offence is all about Rodgers getting the ball into the hands of his wide receivers. Love the potential for a 10 tackle day from Taylor. (4) Tramon Williams: Was shut out against the Bears, but had two interceptions and a touchdown against the Falcons. Led the team in interceptions during the regular season. Like Charles Woodson, Williams' value goes up if the Packers get up by double digits. (5) Troy Polamalu:Listen if Carson Palmer was under centre for the Steelers I'd captain Polamalu in a heartbeat. But I feel the Packers staff and Rodgers are too smart to get the ball anywhere near where Troy is.